Breathe

samantha-french-breathing_at_surface-swimming-underwater-painting

painting,oil

[Read more...]

Sunday Morning

grass-dew-morning-sunny-light

It is a time of quiet joy,
the sunny morning.
When the glittery dew is on the mallow weeds,
each leaf holds a jewel which is beautiful
if not valuable.
This is no time for hurry or for bustle.
Thoughts are slow and deep and golden in the morning.”

~ John SteinbeckTortilla Flat


Notes:

Running. With Gremlins.

running-black and white

6:00 am. 60º F. Light breeze. A Runner’s paradise. I’m out the door.

Mood Check: On a continuum of Bliss on the right and Rage on the left, the needle is twitching left of center.

It is said that, today, we live in a secular society, believing in worldly, non-religious, non-spiritual “things.” Just look at me. Every morning when I step on the scale…no matter what caloric catastrophe I engaged in the day before, I believe our Taylor 7506 Digital Scale is going to deliver.  This morning, was just another morning.  My cup runneth over. With belief.

A deep breath. A pause. One step up. Then the other. The digital read-out comes to life. Gremlins scurrying around with their algorithms. They’re flicking in a range from 208.5 to 207.8 and back. Why do you think they flick in a range? They didn’t use to flick in a range. Belly jiggling, so they can’t lock on? My eyes get large. They settle on 208.3. DAMN IT.

Ten pounds up in less than 60 days. If God was Good…If God was Great, this wouldn’t be so damn difficult. I’m drowning in temptation. Cereal. Danishes. Fruit and Cheese filled croissants. Ice cream. Pasta. And that was just yesterday. It’s raining on me.

And by now, you know what comes next: PENANCE. [Read more...]

SMWI*: The Dolomites


The Lavaredo Ultra Trail Race is 119 km long (73 miles) and 5,850 meters (3.64 miles) of altitude gain. The race starts from the center of Cortina in the southern Alps in Northern Italy. There were ~600 participants coming from all over the world for a race that embraces the most spectacular places of the Dolomites: the Crystal, the Tofane, Cinque Torri, and of course the Three Peaks. The winner was Anton Krupicka from the United States who finished in 12 hrs: 42 min: 31 sec. (10.44 minute avg per mile.) The top finisher for the Women was Rory Bosio from the United States who finished in 14 hrs: 29 min: 35 sec. (11.9 min avg per mile.) (Source: ultra trail.it)

SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration


Saturday Morning

saturday-dog-cute-funny


Source: Thank you Carol @ Radiating Blossom via fourfrenchies

Patriots

patton_speech_in_front_of_giant_flag_george_c_scott

zeke-american-flag-vizsla-dog-july-fourth


Credits:

  • Eric – thank you for the Zeke pic. Rachel wants credit for Zeke/flag background set up. Eric disputes that she had any involvement in the production.
  • Patton from FogsMovieReviews

Untether

swim-solitude
We enter the meditative state induced by counting laps, and observe the subtle play of light as the sun moves across the lanes. We sing songs, or make to-do lists, or fantasize about what we’re going to eat for breakfast. Submersion creates the space to be free, to stretch, without having to contend with constant external chatter. It creates internal quiet, too. Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of them all, was found to have A.D.H.D. when he was a child; he has called the pool his “safe haven,” in part because “being in the pool slowed down my mind.”

…Five hundred lengths in a pool were never boring or monotonous; instead, Dr. Sacks writes, “swimming gave me a sort of joy, a sense of well-being so extreme that it became at times a sort of ecstasy.” The body is engaged in full physical movement, but the mind itself floats, untethered…The enforced solitude is at odds with where we are as a culture. Our gyms are full of televisions tuned to SportsCenter and cable news. We’re tethered to our devices, even at bedtime. With that pervasive lack of self-control, who has the willpower to turn off technology for any meaningful period of time? I submit: Sliding into the water is the easiest way to detach from your phone.

~ Bonnie Tsui, The Self Reflecting Pool


Photograph: Troy Jack

 

The tick-tick-tick

fireworks

How can this human life
be anything other than astonishing?
The tick-tick-tick of pleasure’s ignition

~ Sigman Byrd“The Beginner” 


Credits:

Happy Birthday America

fireworks-gif-fourth of July


Source: Totally Transparent

5:00 PM Bell: Heading Home For Long Weekend

cute-gif-baby-skateboard


Source: Hungarian

5:00 Bell: Here it is. The long weekend.

gif-wind-driving-touch-car


Source: 50thousand

But my miracle was different

sunrise

“The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle. Like, I will probably never be struck by lightening, or win a Nobel Prize, or become the dictator of a small nation in the Pacific Islands, or contract terminal ear cancer, or spontaneously combust. But if you consider all the unlikely things together, at least one of them will probably happen to each of us. I could have seen it rain frogs. I could have stepped foot on Mars. I could have been eaten by a whale. I could have married the Queen of England or survived months at sea. But my miracle was different. My miracle was this: out of all the houses in all the subdivisions in all of Florida, I ended up living next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman.”

~ John Green, Paper Towns

Or, let’s change up the last sentence with an alternate version:
[Read more...]

Good Morning. We’re Ready. Ready to Go.

pitbull


Source: The Pet’s Mart (The 10 Naughtiest Dog Breeds)

Def: kar·ma (noun)

funny-sign-Karma-meaning-people


Source: themetapicture


Five Stages of One’s Career

balloon-portrait-life

Then there are the stages of one’s career: an old joke invoked the five stages of Joseph Epstein (supply your own name here): 1. Who is Joseph Epstein? 2. This is a job, clearly, for Joseph Epstein. 3. We ought to get someone like Joseph Epstein for this job. 4. This job calls for a younger Joseph Epstein, and 5. Who is Joseph Epstein?

~ Joseph Epstein, A Literary Education and Other Essays


Credits: Photograph – Tugbaumit

 

So. Just stop it.

allow-stop-continue


Source: art42

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

camel-hump-day-caleb-funny


Miss me?


Source: Dubai by 

Don’t Let Me Go


Jarle Bernhoft, 38also known as Bern/hoft, is a Norwegian singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer and lyricist. Bernhoft is from Nittedal in Norway, but currently lives in New York.

what he [Bernhoft] did with those few tools was quite extraordinary. Using them, and via a process of instant recording, looping and layering, he was able to create the sound of a full band – including all the instrumental parts plus backing singers on rich harmonies – and it was all just him.”  - The Guardian

Find his website here: Bernhoft.org

Find his new album released last month here: Islander / Bernhoft


For a moment life suddenly feels lighter

Gene-Kelly-1 Gene-Kelly-2
Gene-Kelly-3 Gene-Kelly-4
“I firmly believe in small gestures: pay for their coffee, hold the door for strangers, over tip, smile or try to be kind even when you don’t feel like it, pay compliments, chase the kid’s runaway ball down the sidewalk and throw it back to him, try to be larger than you are— particularly when it’s difficult. People do notice, people appreciate. I appreciate it when it’s done to (for) me. Small gestures can be an effort, or actually go against our grain (‘I’m not a big one for paying compliments…’), but the irony is that almost every time you make them, you feel better about yourself. For a moment life suddenly feels lighter, a bit more Gene Kelly dancing in the rain.”

Jonathan Carroll 


Notes:

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

Canada-Day
Canada celebrates its 147th Birthday today. In a new poll, two-thirds of Canadians say they love their country and what it stands for. I’m among the fervently passionate 2/3rds. Happy Birthday Canada.


Photograph: Al Tuttle

3:00 am. On top. Or under.

Harding-Meyer

The hours between 12am and 6am
have a funny habit of making you feel
like you’re either on top of the world,
or under it.

~ Beau Taplin, the hours between

 


Notes:

Or. Don’t End. Don’t End. Don’t End.

book-cover-reading

When you finish a book and want to start another but you think the one you just finished deserves a moment of silence.

~ Ourfandomtopia

 


Illustration: Adara Sánchez Anguiano

 

You were waiting for a sign…

waiting-sign-funny


Source: thedaybeforyoucome

Monday Morning Bell

eastern-meadowlark-bird-yellow


Source: Fairy-Wren (Eastern Meadowlark)

Family Dinner

The Four Freedoms, Freedom from want

6:30 pm. Saturday evening. Family sits for dinner.

Susan is sitting to my right. A hummingbird, fluttering her wings, spreading honey.

Rachel to my left. Her boyfriend Andrew, next to her. Rachel’s jabbering on about her first week of full-time work. She’s coming down, down from the high of college graduation, and seeing the next 30 year highway of her life. Commuting. Work. Exhaustion. Weekends. Loop it back and hard again. (Is that the gratitude Bus Rachel has pulled up for her Mom & Dad?)

Eric, is down at the end of the table. He’s sneaking glances at his phone. I glare. He puts the phone back in his pocket.

Zeke’s laying under the table. Hoping for something, anything to hit the floor.

And there’s The King, at the head of the table. Fork in the right. Scepter in the left. (Surveilling the landscape. Inhaling it deep into the lungs. Same somber script running. Eagles and Peaceful Easy Feeling is playing. Sand racing through the hourglass. How many of these do we have left?)

“Dad, look at Eric’s guns.”
“Guns?”
“His biceps. They’re bigger than yours.”
I glance at Eric’s “guns.”
He looks down. And blushes. (Did I see a smirk?)
[Read more...]

Go Green

green-limes-margarita


Mexico: 1
Netherlands: 0
56.01 min.

(Update @ 2:06PM: I jinxed it…D*MN IT!)


Source: Hungarian

Make me beautiful

Esther-Honig

“Esther Honig, a 24 year old freelance journalist from Kansas City, put the saying ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ to the test with this fascinating project titled Before and After.  Honig sent an unaltered photo of herself to over 40 Photoshop enthusiasts in 25 different countries and made the simple request: “Make me beautiful.”

Check out the astonishing results here at My Modern Met: Woman Had Her Face Photoshopped in 25 Countries to Compare Beauty Standards Across the Globe.

 

But there is no going back

woman_back_black_and_white

“But to preserve something is to delay that act indefinitely. Maybe preserves are where a historian’s urges meet a cook’s capacities. I wish that I could put up yesterday’s evening sky for all posterity, could preserve a night of love, the sound of a mountain stream, a realization as it sets my mind afire, a day of harmony, ten thousand glorious days of clouds that will instead vanish and never be seen again, line them up in jars where they might be admired in the interim and tasted again as needed. My historian’s nature regards with dismay that all these things arise and perish, though there will always be more clouds and more days, if not for me or for you. Photographs preserve a little of this, and I’ve kept tens of thousands of e-mails and letters, but there is no going back.”

—Rebecca Solnit, from The Faraway Nearby


Notes:

Nelly Drell’s Nelly Drell

This is a photograph of Nelly Drell, a 35 year old Estonian artist. Now this next painting, is Nelly Drell’s self-portrait, an oil on canvas. Where on the scale of awesomeness does this land? [Read more...]

SMWI*: Godspeed You. (Walk. Feel. Touch. In Nature.)


“We loved the evocative nature of ‘Godspeed You’ and wanted to create something beautiful and atmospheric to compliment the themes of the track. We particularly focused on the idea that we are part of something that is greater than us all. We decided on a simple narrative that follows a girl’s journey back into nature, watching as she is gradually dwarfed by the dramatic landscapes surrounding her, until she is finally enveloped into the earth – only to rise again as part of the natural landscape. Finally, she is cleansed and returns to the world as a woman reborn.”

~ Jack Pirie & Alex Hylands, Directors


Notes:

  • SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration.
  • Francesco Rossi joins forces together with MTV Europe’s Belgian Artist of the Year Ozark Henry to deliver his new single “Godspeed You.” Francesco Rossi, 39, is from Tuscany, Italy and is a DJ and Producer. Piet Goddaer, 44, is a Belgian Musician, better known by his stage name Ozark Henry.
  • The video is filmed in the Lake District, a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous not only for its lakes, forests and mountains (or fells), but also for its associations with the early 19th century poetry and writings of William Wordsworth and the other Lake Poets.

Saturday Morning: Right Here. Right Now.

ocean-holiday-hotel-vacation-view

[...] the lightest touch,
a breeze arriving from nowhere,
a whispered healing arrival,
a word in your ear,
a settling into things,
then like a hand in the dark
it arrests the whole body,
steeling you for revelation.
In the silence that follows [...]

~ David Whyte, The Lightest Touch


Sources:

 

5:00 P.M. Bell: Diving into the Weekend

gif-dive-swim-light


Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out

It trembles, liquid to the mind, then falls

water-drop-gif

Sometimes you linger days
upon a word,
a single, uncontaminated drop
of sound; for days

it trembles, liquid to the mind,
then falls:
mere denotation
dimming the undertow of language.

John Burnside, from “Like me, you sometimes waken” 


Notes:

 

 

In a job, where you wonder, a year later, what happened to that year

on-looking-alexandra-horowitz

Maria Popova (Brain Pickings) in a Conversation with Alexandra Horowitz (Cognitive Scientist): The Art of Looking: How to Live With Presence, Break the Tyranny of Productivity, and Learn to See Our Everyday Wonderland

AH: I am not encouraging productivity — and I don’t mind that that’s the case. I value the moments in my life that are productive, certainly, but only the ones that are productive and also present. So it doesn’t have to be either-or. But [I have also] spent time in a job where you then wonder, a year later, what happened to that year. And if I had bothered to sit on the subway, commuting to my office, looking — looking — I think that those moments would have been memorialized, and I would know what happened to that year…I don’t mean to be testifying against productivity per se, but I do see that it’s certainly mindless, the way that we approach there being only one route to living one’s life. And it is within us, this capacity to alter that — at any moment, even within that framework — to change your state.

MP: What’s interesting about the productivity dogma is that we live in a culture where we worship work ethic — by a very narrow definition — as some sort of this grand virtue. And we define it as showing up, day after day after day. But I often think that that’s the surest way to lull ourselves into a kind of trance of passivity, where we show up but we’re absent from our own lives. And I think one of the most beautiful things you do is you show how we can be present in our own lives, through these eleven different people and their perspectives.

AH: Thank you. You know, you are thought of as being, probably, an excessively productive person — again, in that literal sense. You have such a fertile mind — would you say you are not productive? Or, how do you achieve your productivity?

MP: For me, I read, and I hunger to know… I record, around that, my experience of understanding the world and understanding what it means to live a good life, to live a full life. Anything that I write is a byproduct of that — but that’s not the objective. So, even if it may have the appearance of “producing” something on a regular basis, it’s really about taking in, and what I put out is just … the byproduct. It’s kind of like going down the rabbit hole but digging it in the process, too.

See full post here: The Art of Looking: How to Live With Presence, Break the Tyranny of Productivity, and Learn to See Our Everyday Wonderland

See short video on Horowitz’s book On Looking. Find the book on Amazon here: On Looking.

T.G.I.F.: It’s Been A Long Week

gif-flip-head-sand


Source: Thank you Steve Layman

Just Livin’

ballet-foot-black and white

NS: Name?
DK: David K-A-N-I-G-A-N. No middle initial. (Here we go again.)
NS: Height?
DK: 6’1″.
NS: Weight?
DK: (Pause)
NS: (Smiling) We can weigh you when we get inside.
DK: Today or this month’s average?
NS: Today.
DK: 208. (She doesn’t know that you’re up 10. Why avert your eyes you coward?)
NS: Name of GP?
DK: (Pause) Don’t have one.
NS: Don’t have a GP?
DK: It’s been a while.
NS: Date of last physical?
DK: (Pause) Don’t remember. (She steals a glance at my ID. Checking DOB.)
NS: Blood type?
DK: No idea.
NS: (Staring eye-ball-to-eyeball now)
[Read more...]

Let Me Comfort You


Erick Baker, 35, is a singer-songwriter from Knoxville, Tennessee. He didn’t sing or write songs until he enrolled at the University of Tennessee. Baker had picked up the guitar during his college days and played occasionally at parties for fun, by his own admission in hopes of meeting women. While doing a set at an open-mike night in Knoxville, Baker was spotted by a local promoter who gave him a spot opening a show for John Legend and soon buzz about Baker began to spread. He has performed with national acts, including rock musician James Blunt, alternative country musician Brandi Carlile, pop-rock musician Gavin DeGraw, the rock band Goo Goo Dolls, the rock band Heart, R&B artist John Legend.

My songs belong to every right turn and wrong turn that have led me here,” Baker says.  “They reflect the pieces of poetry hidden in the experiences that lie in each of our everyday lives.

Find this tune on iTunes: Erik Baker: Live At The Bijou Theatre

If you liked this, don’t miss: Erick Baker – Stay Awhile


Credits:


What are you now? Air? Mist? Dust? Light? What? Give me something.

photo-child-eyes-soot


Image Source: Danielle Landry. Title: Dorianne Laux.

The most impressive students I had over my 30 years of teaching were…

joseph_epstein

…The most impressive students I had over my 30 years of university teaching were those I encountered when I first began, in the early 1970s, who almost all turned out to have been put through Catholic schools, during a time when priests and nuns still taught and Catholic education hadn’t become indistinguishable from secular education. Many of these kids resented what they felt was the excessive constraint, with an element of fear added, of their education. Most failed to realize that it was this very constraint—and maybe a touch of the fear, too—that forced them to learn Latin, to acquire and understand grammar, to pick up the rudiments of arguing well, that had made them as smart as they were…

..So often in my literature classes students told me what they “felt” about a novel, or a particular character in a novel. I tried, ever so gently, to tell them that no one cared what they felt; the trick was to discover not one’s feelings but what the author had put into the book, its moral weight and its resultant power. In essay courses, many of these same students turned in papers upon which I wished to—but did not—write: “D-, Too much love in the home.” I knew where they came by their sense of their own deep significance and that this sense was utterly false to any conceivable reality. Despite what their parents had been telling them from the very outset of their lives, they were not significant. Significance has to be earned, and it is earned only through achievement. Besides, one of the first things that people who really are significant seem to know is that, in the grander scheme, they are themselves really quite insignificant.

~ Joseph Epstein, A Literary Education and Other Essays


Thank you Michael Wade for your recommendation of Epstein’s new book: A Literary Education and Other Essays. I’m half way through and loving it.  Joseph Epstein, 77, was born in Chicago. He is an essayist, short story writer, and editor. In 2003, he was awarded a National Humanities Medal by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Welcome to 4 a.m.

Ocean-Streak-Jogjakarta-Java

Welcome to 4 a.m.

Where we lie in limbo,
waiting for the sun to come up,
the moon to go down,
the median between life
and whats left of the dark decay of lifelessness.
Where Your eyes open wide,
where your thoughts wander into the void of the infinite.
Where we wait to see the beginning,
the middle,
and the end.

~ Unknown


Photography: Hengki Koentjoro (Ocean Streak, Jogjakarta – Java, June 10, 2014) via Elinka. Poem from Wordsnquotes.

Wow.


“Getting tossed around by shorebreak and slammed into the sand day after day is a rough go; Clark Little wouldn’t have it any other way. In fact, for the North Shore local, it’s all in a good day’s work. But the Waimea addict didn’t grow up snapping shots with his father’s camera like so many photographers do. He instead set out to capture his longtime stomping grounds when his wife came home with a framed photograph of Waimea shorebreak, an image he figured he would be able to easily replicate. Having never owned a camera, he threw a cheap “waterproof” casing over a cheaper point-and-shoot and headed out to the beach. Since that first attempt, Clark has not only emulated his wife’s purchased wall art, but — with a gallery in Haleiwa and international recognition — has become a heavily respected fixture of wave photography.”

Check out his images on Clark Little Photography


Thank you Evelyn

God. No God. Bottom Line? Stupefaction.

watermelon

I have observed the power of the watermelon seed. It has the power of drawing from the ground and through itself 200,000 times its weight. When you can tell me how it takes this material and out of it colors an outside surface beyond the imitation of art, and then forms inside of it a white rind and within that again a red heart, thickly inlaid with black seeds, each one of which in turn is capable of drawing through itself 200,000 times its weight – when you can explain to me the mystery of a watermelon, you can ask me to explain the mystery of God.

William Jennings Bryan


Quote Source: Thank you Steve Layman. Image: Wallyes.com. Definition for Stupefaction.

Related Post: Love ya. All Seasons. All Forms. All meals.

 

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

hump-day-wednesday-camel-funny


Source: Strangezoo.com

Three for Tuesday

wine-glass-color-red-green


Source: helycharlotte by Dimitriy Sarnikov


In here lies why I’m not Picasso (or Mattisse, or…)

matisse - gif


Making Picasso’s point visible: In 2010, MoMA curators used X-ray technology to reveal the many iterations behind Henri Matisse’s painting ‘Bathers by a River,’ on which the painter worked for eight years between 1909 and 1917.


Matisse does a drawing, then he recopies it. He recopies it five times, ten times, each time with cleaner lines. He is persuaded that the last one, the most spare, is the best, the purest, the definitive one; and yet, usually it’s the first. When it comes to drawing, nothing is better than the first sketch.

~ Picasso

Despite being both a professional admirer and a personal friend of Matisse’s, he cites the painter’s notoriously methodical creative process as a betrayal of this notion that an artist should honor his or her initial creative intuition.

Read more at Brainpickings: Picasso on Work Ethic, How Creativity Works, and Why Intuitive Ideas Are More Important Than Methodical Technique


In a strand of your hair. The calluses on your hand.

Hair-eyes-portrait-closeup

Everything is a self-portrait. A diary. Your whole drug history’s in a strand of your hair. Your fingernails. The forensic details. The lining of your stomach is a document. The calluses on your hand tell all your secrets. Your teeth give you away. Your accent. The wrinkles around your mouth and eyes. Everything you do shows your hand.

~ Chuck Palahniuk, Diary.


Photographer: Haylie Maxine. Quote: wordsnquotes

The “Meez” & 20 Words To The Promised Land.

anthony-bourdain

If you’re working in the kitchen of Anthony Bourdain, legendary chef and famed television personality, you don’t dare so much to boil hot water without attending to a ritual called: mise-en-place.

What is the first thing YOU do when you arrive at your desk?

What 20 word question can you ask yourself to distinguish between tasks that simply feel urgent from those that are truly important?

Find the answers here: How to Spend the First 10 Minutes of Your Day


Photograph: Savorsa.com

Some days, some days…

cute-baby-hippo-kissing-mom-water

…after a long day, you need a Kiss from your Mama


Notes:

Monday Mantra: Lead

dog-gif-baby-funny


Source: Gifak-net


Monday Morning Wake-Up Call: Coffee Time!

dog-portrait-photography-elke-vogelsang-33


Photographer: Elke Vogelsang